Coronavirus company news summary – EMA considering marketing authorisation for remdesivir – AstraZeneca seeking vaccine manufacturing deals outside the UK

Allie Nawrat 19 May 2020 (Last Updated May 19th, 2020 09:08)

19 May 2020

UK-headquartered AstraZeneca is in discussions with international governments and organisations for Covid-19 vaccine candidate manufacturing deals similar to its agreement with the UK government, according to Reuters. The organisations in question are said to include the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance).

India-based Cipla has plans to explore the use of multi-drug combination, including Gilead Sciences' remdesivir, for the treatment of Covid-19. In an interview with Livemint news agency, Cipla chief financial officer Kedar Upadhye said that the company intends to assess a combination of zinc, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, lopinavir-ritonavir and favipiravir, among other drugs.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has signed an agreement with contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Vibalogics for the manufacture of clinical trial material for a Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by J&J unit Janssen. The deal will see Vibalogics produce multiple batches of the vaccine candidate at its facility in Cuxhaven, Germany.

The European Union may fast track authorisation for the sale of Gilead's remdesivir as a potential Covid-19 treatment, said Reuter citing the European Medicines Agency (EMA) head. A conditional approval for the drug is expected in the coming days. The EMA has already called for the compassionate use of the drug for Covid-19 patients